The biography of Richard Hughes, the original Hughes immigrant, follows below. The biography was published in 1901 in the The Biographical Record of Clinton County, Iowa; pp 407/8 Chicago, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1901, (Des Moines Main Library: 977.71 C617c 884654).
One of the best known and most highly esteemed citizens of Berlin township is Richard Hughes, who owns five hundred and twenty acres of rich land on sections 3, 10 and 11, constituting one of the valuable and highly improved farms of the locality. His possessions have been acquired through, his own efforts, and as the result of his consecutive endeavor he has won a place among the substantial citizens of the county.
Mr. Hughes was born in Kilcullen, County Kildare, Ireland, on the 12th of July, 1827, and is a son of Michael and Mary (Keegan) Hughes, also natives of the Emerald Isle. In the fall of 1850 the parents came to this country, and after living in Pennsylvania for a short time removed to Chicago, where they spent one year. They next made their home in La Salle county, Illinois, and in the spring of 1856 came to Clinton county, Iowa, where our subject [Richard Hughes] had purchased one hundred and twenty acres of government land for himself and father on section 3, Berlin township, in 1854. To this he subsequently added until he had several hundred acres, being one of the most successful and prosperous farmers of his community. He [Michael Hughes, father of Richard] died upon his farm in 1892, at the advanced age of ninety-two years, having survived his wife many years, her death occurring in 1874. They were the parents of eight children, five sons and three daughters, all of whom are still living with the exception of Catherine, wife of Patrick Cuddy, of Berlin township.
Our subject [Richard Hughes], who is the oldest of this family, grew to manhood in his native land, and attended the national schools to a limited extent, but is almost wholly self-educated. At the age of twenty-one he came to the United States, landing in New York April 27, 1848, after a voyage of six weeks, and first located in Northampton county, Pennsylvania, where he made his home until 1852, and then went to Chicago, remaining there only a short time, however. We next find him a resident of La Salle county, Illinois, and in April, 1855, he came to Clinton county, Iowa, locating on sixty acres of land on section 3, Berlin township, which he had purchased from the government the year previous. In his farming operations he has been eminently successful, and is now the owner of over five hundred acres of land under a high state of cultivation. During the early years of their residence here he and his father were engaged in the arduous task of breaking the wild land and converting it into fertile fields. He takes great pride in keeping his farm well improved, and today has one of the most desirable places in his locality. In connection with general farming he has engaged in stock raising to some extent.
In Northampton county, Pennsylvania, April 18, 1852, Mr. Hughes was united in marriage with Miss Esther O'Brien, who was also born in Ireland, in 1827, and was about twenty-two years of age when she emigrated to this country. By this union were born ten children, namely: (1) Mary married James O'Brien and died in April, 1872, at the age of nineteen years, leaving one son, John P., who resides with our subject and is now engaged in farming on one hundred and twenty acres of land. (2) Michael, a farmer of Lyons county, Iowa, where he owns one hundred and sixty acres of land, married Ellen Marshall, and they have five children, Richard, Mary, Ellen, William and Thomas. (3) Richard is the owner of eighty acres of land on section l0, Berlin township, this county, and also operates one hundred and twenty acres of his father's farm. He married Margaret Spain, and they have six children, Esther, Joseph, Kate, Ellen, Michael and Margaret. (4) Ann is the wife of William Kinney, a farmer of Plymouth county, Iowa, and they have four children, Margaret, Richard, Ellen and William. (5) Catherine lives with her parents on the home place. (6) Ellen married William Kennedy, of Plymouth county, Iowa, and died in 1891, leaving two children, Mollie and John. (7) Patrick owns and operates one hundred and sixty acres of good farming land in Plymouth county. (8) Thomas, who is engaged in farming on a tract of two hundred acres on section 8, Berlin township, married Minnie Devine, and they have five children, Mary G., Esther, Winnifred, Mabel and Cletus. (9) William is a prosperous farmer of Lyons county, Iowa. (10) James, who is engaged in farming on a tract of one hundred and sixty acres on section 10, Liberty township, wedded Mary O'Brien, and they have one child, John.
In his political affiliations Mr. Hughes is a Democrat. He has held nearly all of the township offices, and has ever been found faithful to any trust reposed in him, whether public or private. He has the good will and esteem of his fellow citizens, and is held in high regard by all who know him. He is a devout member of the Catholic church, to which he contributes liberally, and the church building known as the Hughes church is located on a part of his farm. Having always been a hard-working industrious man, he has met with marked success in his undertakings, and the prosperity that has come to him is certainly well deserved.
New gravestone marking burial site on land originally part of Hughes farm.